More news about Arthur!

Hello, once again! I have more news about the bad boy of the Clan McCormack, Arthur McCormack. I hope you remember my post, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap!” where I talk about my great-grand uncle Arthur McCormack getting convicted for bribery. Just a little updater for some people, Arthur McCormack was an alderman in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had been a resident of the beer capital since the late 1880s and in fact, got married there.

As most everyone should know, before someone is convicted, they must be indicted. Today, I would like to talk a little about uncle Arthur’s indictment for bribery.

Arthur's Indictment

Arthur’s indictment announcement*[1]

Arthur was just one of seven people that were indicted that day and his legal problems were just beginning. As someone whose involvement with that side of the law has, fortunately, been limited to a few traffic tickets, I am not sure what motivated Arthur to do what he did. Perhaps he was just doing what might have been thought of as “business as usual” in some places. I also wonder if he thought the three tons of coal was worth the trouble that he was in and what was coming his way. One thing that I noticed and I hope you did too, is that this newspaper article isn’t from Milwaukee. The article that I found about Arthur’s conviction was also not from Milwaukee. One has to wonder why.

I will have more upcoming about Arthur’s legal misadventures in a future Otter Lake Express post.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something new and exciting today!


* Note: I modified the article to just show Arthur’s involvement.


  1. Arthur A. McCormack, “Indict Seven for Grafting,” The Chicago (Chicago, Illinois) Daily Tribune, 12 Jan 1904, Pg. 4, col. 4, digital image,,, accessed 6 Apr 2017.



McCormack family important dates for November

Hello! I know that it has been quite a long time since I last posted a story here. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. Even though it is almost the mid of November, I would like to start the month of November off with a post about important dates in the McCormack family.

The McCormack Family Reunion

The McCormack Family Reunion


3 Nov 1917: Gertrude “Betty” Jeanette McCormack was born. She was the first daughter and second child of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. She was born in Sparks, Nevada which is a “suburb” of Reno, Nevada.

Betty J McCormack Waltz

Gertrude “Betty” J. McCormack Waltz

4 Nov 1988: Suzanne Mae Smith died. Suzanne was the wife of William D. McCormack. He was the sixth child and fifth son of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. Suzanne and William had three children, one daughter and two sons. She died in Eugene, Oregon.

14 Nov 1861: Arthur A. McCormack was born. I hope you have had a chance to read the post, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” I wrote about Arthur recently. He was the only “bad boy” of the McCormack family that I know of. He was also the executor of his brother, Frank J. McCormack’s estate.

Arthur McCormack

Arthur McCormack at the family reunion in Otter Lake, Michigan.

15 Nov 1860: Patrick J. McCormack died. Actually, I don’t know for sure if Patrick was his first name. The way his name appeared on the 1861 Canada census it looked like to me that it was PJ.Since Michael’s father was named Patrick and at the time, I had just lost a (newly found) cousin by the name Patrick J., I decided to name him Patrick J. McCormack. Unfortunately in his short life, his entry on the 1861 Canadian census was his only notable achievement.

16 Nov 1951: Henry McCormack died. Henry was Michael and Catherine’s seventh child and sixth son. He was a leading member of the Ithaca business community. Here are some blog posts about Henry; “Pictures of Henry McCormack and family”, “Sunday’s Obituary – Henry McCormack”, Wordless Wednesday – Three Generations of the Henry McCormack family”.

Henry McCormack

a young Henry McCormack

21 Nov 1912: Michael McCormack died. The patriarch of the McCormack clan. Here is a post to get your appetite wetted!

Michael McCormack

Michael McCormack

21 Nov 1856: Edward James McCormack was born. Like the rest of his brothers, save for his older brother William, he was born in London, Ontario, Canada. Edward was the third child and second son. I believe sometime in the early 1880s, Edward and Michael came up with the idea of moving up to the northern Lower Michigan to farm.

24 Nov 1885: Grace Ellen McCormack was born. Grace was the only child of William E. McCormack and Lura Grace Roys (she was William’s first wife).

Grace McCormack

Grace McCormack Woodbury about 1957.

26 Nov 1870: Katherine Fidelia McCormack was born. Katherine is one of my favorite McCormack relatives. Perhaps the first reason is that she and I share the same birthday of November 26th. She is also the only female child of Michael and Catherine that I have a picture of.

Aunt Katherine

Katherine (McCormack) Ingleright

26 Nov 1986: Raymond Louis Tougeron died. Ray was the husband of Ethel Rebecca McCormack. She was the second daughter and seventh child of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. She and Ray would have one daughter and three sons.


Raymond L. Tougeron, Sr.

29 Nov 1883: William McCormack married Lura Grace Roys. Lura was William’s (my great-grandfather) first wife. They were married in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Lura was from Ypsilanti. They had one daughter, Grace Ellen McCormack before the unfortunate death of Lura.

– – – – – –

I would like to remind everyone that there is a lot more to the people listed here. If you have anything you would like to add about any of these people, please feel free to contact me. I also would like to thank you for stopping by and I hope you learned something.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

P.S. If you see anything that needs correcting, please let me know! Thanks again!

Michael and his sons

This is a montage that I made up a few years ago. The pictures on the top row are from left to right: Michael McCormack, William McCormack, John Michael McCormack, Arthur McCormack and Henry McCormack.

The McCormack Men Poster

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you like what you see!

McCormack family important dates for February

For this February, I have two “good” dates and two “bad” dates. If you have been a loyal reader or follower of this blog, these names are very familiar to you. I always want to share dates and happenings like these with you.

2 Feb 1904 Ruth Eleanor (McCormack) Farrell was born
3 Feb 1902 Alta Lyleth (McCormack) Ford was born
13 Feb 1933 Arthur A. McCormack died
15 Feb 1898 Edward James McCormack died

Here is a picture of my grand-aunt Ruth;

Ruth Farrell at her summer cabin

Ruth Farrell at her summer cabin

Ruth is the youngest daughter of William E. McCormack, my great-grandfather. She was born in Otter Lake, Michigan.

Next is my grandmother;

Young Alta McCormack

Young Alta McCormack

Alta was the middle child of William E. McCormack, my great-grandfather. She too was also born in Otter Lake.

Finally, my great-granduncle Arthur;

Arthur McCormack at the family reunion in Otter Lake, Michigan.

Arthur McCormack at the family reunion in Otter Lake, Michigan.

Arthur is one of seven sons of Michael and Catherine McCormack, my great-great-grandparents. There is one story about my Uncle Arthur that I would like to share with everyone. It is my post, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. Arthur, to the best of my knowledge, was born in London, Ontario when the family lived in Canada for about 5 years or so.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you learned something interesting!

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap!

In my last post here on the Otter Lake Express, “A Glimpse into the Past”, I stated how much I liked that newspapers gave you a more in-depth look at the lives of our ancestors.

In today’s post, I am not talking about the AC/DC song of the same name, but an incident that took place in the life of my great-granduncle, Arthur A. McCormack. Arthur was the son of Michael and Catherine McCormack.

Arthur McCormack at the family reunion in Otter Lake, Michigan.

Arthur McCormack at the family reunion in Otter Lake, Michigan.

A few nights ago, I was on Facebook and I saw an ad for GenealogyBank. Afterwards I went to GenealogyBank where I haven’t been for quite a while. Once on GenealogyBank, I did my standard search for anything McCormack. After looking at several dead ends, I came to this;

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap?

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap? [1]

To summarize the article, Arthur was convicted for taking (very small) “gifts” while an alderman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In my take of the article, it seems that Arthur was known for taking small “gratuities” during his time as an alderman in Milwaukee. Currently, my research has Arthur living in Milwaukee from about 1887 to sometime in 1908 or possibly 1909. So sometime during this almost twenty year period, Arthur was an alderman. The article seems to suggest that he stopped being an alderman around 1902 or 1903. In 1910, I have him and his wife living in Detroit, Michigan.

In researching your family history, it is often said that sooner or later you will find something that you may not be proud of. I am not saying that Arthur was totally corrupt but that he was a partially flawed man.

I also think that this article opens up several research possibilities. I could research his political career or his legal problems.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something! I did!


1. Arthur A. McCormack,  “To Petty Graft, ” The Grand Rapids (Michigan) Press, 23 Nov 1905, pg. 3, cols. 4-5; digital images, ( accessed 3 Oct 2015), Newspaper Archives.

Amanuensis Monday – Affidavit of Decease

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted and I didn’t start to post this piece but something else. Sorry for the delay.

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. This topic was started by John Newmark of the TransylvanianDutch blog.

It has been almost two years since I made a post under the Amanuensis Monday moniker. This is the affidavit of decease for my great-grand uncle, Frank J. McCormack.

Here is my transcription;




Kankakee County         } SS.


             Arthur A. McCormack,                                , being duly sworn, deposeth

and saith; That                           Frank J. McCormack                                    late of the

Town of                      Kankakee                          in the County of Kankakee and State

aforesaid, departed this life at       the City of Kankakee             , in said County, on

or about the          9th         , day of           December                               A.D. 1917      

and that   he    died leaving              no           last Will and Testament, to the best of

              his                knowledge and belief.

    Arthur A. McCormack     (signature)

 Subscribe and sworn to before me, this       24th     

day of       December       A. D. 1917

       Elmer A. Wilson         

    Notary Public,  in and

for Kankakee County Illinois

Here is the actual file;

Affidavit of Decease - Frank J. McCormack

Affidavit of Decease – Frank J. McCormack

For starters, it really doesn’t tell me anything new about any of the actors. What it does is it confirms several things that I do know, like Arthur’s middle initial “A” and Frank’s middle initial of “J”. Like their father, Michael McCormack, Arthur never used his full middle name and to the best of my knowledge, neither did Frank. By the way, Michael’s middle initial was “M” but he only used about three or four times. He never wrote down what his middle name was. But that is a subject for another post if I haven’t already done so.

I hope you learned something and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Kankakee County, Illinois, Frank J. McCormack probate file, Probate Court, Kankakee.

An overseas birth certificate?

On Saturday 7 Feb 2015, I “ordered” a birth certificate or record for Elizabeth Petronella Dornauf via a page on the website of Weisbaden, the town that I believe she was born in. Elizabeth was the wife of Arthur McCormack, the younger brother of my great-grandfather, William E. McCormack. I say “ordered” because it didn’t ask for any payment information or anything like that. It did however ask for my contact information and I did get an e-mail confirming my request which was in German. I will keep everyone updated if anything happens.

Thanks for stopping by!